And It’s a great place for visitors in February, March, April and May!

Its cold in Canada !

Flights to Antigua are easy!

We had been going to leave Antigua, but… liked it so much we had tons of friends and family come visit. I’ll hit the highlights that I have pictures of.

Sunset Jolly Beach

We saw Dave & Erin Townley as well as Linda Thompson  in February. Jennifer Whitfield and then Brian and Mary Pont back to back in March.  April brought friends from Northern Ontario, Robert and Nancy Menard and then my daughter Courtney. My big little brother, Bruce came in May just before we packed up!

They come for the sunsets

And stay for the food! Lobster Dinner

Mmm, crepes for breakfast

Classic Yacht Regatta. The oldest boat was from 1911!

Another antique- I mean classic! Bruce – suck it in!

In the midst of all this marvellous company we tore out the old seat cushions and had them recovered! We must be crazy! 😜

Salon Torn apart

Salon with new cushions

 

With my baby girl at Betty’s Hope

Dingy into shore

Moorahme out of the sea for the summer!

Great sunsets, lots of yummy food and the best visitors! Life is good on our boat!

Antigua Is A Great Place for Visitors in January!

Air Canada and WestJet both fly directly to Antigua from Toronto for fairly reasonable rates. Starting in January friends came to visit.

We had several projects to get done on Moorahme, so we stayed in Jolly Harbour Marina.

A hike up the hill side, gives you a great view of the anchorage at Jolly Harbour !

One of the first places we like to take visitors, is Jolly Beach. The sand and sun are gorgeous…

Jolly Beach

And of course, the sunsets are spectacular!

The surf and the sunset.

 

It was great to meet up with friends we’d met in Grenada –  The crew on MickBeth! (Santa knew Gwen & Robin needed mermaid’s tails)

We got to know the local mermaids !

Going in to St Johns is always fun but Saturday is market day. The sights and sounds are kicked up a notch or two!

Saturday market in St John

Our first visitors were Tim and Mary Brown. A day at the beach; another day to St Johns and the Market.

Our friend Mary wasn’t too sure about the fish with the head still on – It’s staring at you, Mary!

 

One of my favourite days was when we took a tour of the Island. Antigua is rich in history!

Island Tour -Partialy restored sugar plantation, Betty’s Hope.

Tim and Randy – checking out the machinary at the sugar mill.

Devils Bridge where dispondant slaves would through themselves into the sea.

The tour took us to Shirley Heights where you can get a stunning view of both Falmouth and English Harbour s.

English Harbour from Shirley Heights

 

 

Guadaloupe to Antigua and home for Christmas 🎄

We were so excited to be reunited with our first sailing buddy boat!! On our first day there we had a lovely snorkel at the park. There were lots of schools of tropical fish and beautiful coral

The sun setting on Pigeon Island Guadaloupe

Pigeon Bay had some decent shops for provisions and a pretty nice beach.

Sailing the coast of Guadaloupe with our friends on Remora

After a few days we sailed up the east coast to Deshaies (pronounced days ays). One of my favorite BBC shows, Death In Paradise,  is filmed in Deshaies and of course seeing some of the locations was fun.  After clearing out at customs, always a breeze in the French islands, we had an amazing sail to Antigua.

All the sails up – headed to Antigua

Full main and foresail up, the wind and waves were just right and at one point we saw the water spouts of three whales. Unfortunately we were not close enough to see the whales themselves but exciting none the less.

When we got close to Antigua with plenty of time to moor and clear customs and immigration, we turned into the wind to take down the mainsail.   It gave us a very hard time. Randy put it back up and then down again at least  three times and was very tired and frustrated before it finally went reluctantly into the in-boom furler.  That’s it! Time for newer lighter sails! Once we caught up to Remora it was too late to clear customs so we hoisted the yellow flag and anchored in Five Island Bay.

Five Island Bay Antigua

Five Island Bay is a beautiful bay with a nice upscale resort nearby (that means good wifi). The bay had lots of room for us and most of the boats were flying Canadian Flags! The next day the first mates got a dingy ride into the beach and hoofed it to the Customs and Immigration offices to get the officialdom over with. Then back to the boat to raise the Antigua and Barbuda flag, go for a refreshing swim and cocktails later in the day.  Yeah, life is good.

After a few days of relaxing in the anchorage it was time to move to the marina, get fuel and a slip to leave Moorahme while we travel home for Christmas. Fuel is expensive here!

The view of the abandoned casino at Jolly Harbour Marina

The slips are med mooring, which means tight and stern in. Were not great at backing up but Captain Randy  the marina staff made it look like child’s play. We are docked beside another Stevens 47!

Next up the challenge to pack to go home for Christmas. We wanted to have only carry-on luggage. Good Luck with that!

Trying to get it all in two carry-ones and two personal items

Nailed it!

 

Bequia, Marigot Bay, St.Anne, St Pierre, Les Saints.

Next stop ….Bequia (pronounced Beckway)

Fishermen in the bay.

Fishermen in the bay.

Bequia

Bequia

Turtle Sanctuary - Bequia

Turtle Sanctuary – Bequia

We sailed past The Pitons and on to Marigot Bay in St Lucia.

St Lucia - The Pitons

St Lucia – The Pitons

St Lucia – Marigot Bay

Marigot Bay had the best Indian food restaurant we’ve ever eaten.

After a few days in Marigot we left for Martinique. I’d been looking forward to Martinique since we sailed past in May and it didn’t disappoint. We anchored at St Anne’s and had spectacular sunset views every night.

St Anne's anchorage Martinique

St Anne’s anchorage Martinique

St Anne's anchorage Martinique

St Anne’s anchorage Martinique

Most mornings Marielle delivered fresh croissants/pain au chocolate.

Croissants delivered to the boat - Marielle

Croissants delivered to the boat – Marielle

Mt Pele in the clouds

Mt Pele in the clouds

Our next stop in Martinique was St Pierre. Mt Pele looms in the distance as a reminder that as beautiful as it is here Mother Nature can throw a wicked curve ball.

At the turn of the last century, St Pierre was the Paris of the Caribbean. In 1902 Mt Pele erupted and destroyed the city and all but two of its 30000 residents. The only two survivors were a criminal in a jail cell and a cobbler.

Mt. Pele - Martinique

Mt. Pele – Martinique

From St Pierre Martiniqu we sailed to Dominica. This was on of very few stops we made on our dash down to Grenada. We loved it and felt that we hadn’t seen enough of it.

Celebrating American Thanksgiving with our boat family aboard Vidorra in Dominica

Celebrating American Thanksgiving with our boat family aboard Vidorra in Dominica

Dominican Indian River tour with Alex as our Guide

Dominican Indian River tour with Alex as our Guide

The old fort - Dominica

The old fort – Dominica

Looking at the anchorage from the new fort

Looking at the anchorage from the new fort

Then on to Les Saints which is part of Guadeloupe, another French island.

Looking at the anchorage from the Fort in Les Saints

Looking at the anchorage from the Fort in Les Saints

Guadaloupe in the distance

Guadaloupe in the distance

Les Saints Fort

Les Saints Fort

After Les Saints we traveled halfway up the west coast of Guadaloupe to a Jacque Cousteau Haritage Park at Pigeon Island to meet our friend John and Marcia on S/v Remora.

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Grenada to Tobago Keys – North from Granada – 2016

We enjoyed our stay in Grenada but by the end of a very hot summer (110 F most days), we were ready to leave.

After a few improvements and maintainance items were taken care of we set sail for the Grenadian Island of Carriacou. Our friends Lauren and Brian on Nightingale Tune were ready and sailed along with us.

Carriacou beach

Carriacou beach

Sandy island is a lovely little spit of sand and trees just outside Tyrell Bay. We spent several days snorkelling, sunning, having happy hour on the beach and celebrating Brian’s birthday with an awesome lobster dinner on Nightingale Tune. Lauren is an amazing cook and Brian an excellent grill master.

Happy hour - Sandy Island

Happy hour – Sandy Island

Randy and Brian made the long dinghy ride to Tyrell bay to clear us out before we sailed over to Union Island to clear into St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Happy Island

Happy Island

We only stayed long enough to get the paperwork done and grab a drink on Happy Island (we’d hoped for food too but “no food today, mon”) .

Union island

Union island

Our friends on Vidorra were waiting for us at Petite St. Vincent anchorage. So good to see them again! There’s another little spit of sand but  without trees near Petite St. Vincent where we spent a lovely afternoon snorkelling and playing on what felt like our own Island Paradise!

Friends in our Island paradise

Friends in our Island paradise

Our own private island in paradise

Our own private island in paradise

Thank you to Lauren for these amazing photographs!

There were more islands calling us so after a few days we were off again. This time to Salt Whistle Bay….which was way too crowded, so we returned to  Saline Bay.  This is a lovely bay, great holding, but sometime during the night the dump was set on fire as they do in the islands, and the stench was overpowering.  Not a good night’s sleep at all.

Our friends racing to Saline Bay.

Our friends racing to Saline Bay.

On our way there John and Jen on Corpse Pounder caught up to us and joined us on the way to Saline where we had the bay mostly to our selves and our friends Mark and Joanna on Discofish are anchored. We had a lovely happy hour on the beach until the no-see-ums joined us. They are such party poopers!

The next day we we all went around to Tobago Keys where there is a lovely reef for snorkelling and a turtle sanctuary.

Tobago Keys

Tobago Keys

On the east side of the reef is one of the islands used in Pirates of the Caribbean.

Where's the rhum?

Where’s the rhum?

Cocktails on a little island in the Tabago Keys

Cocktails on a little island in the Tabago Keys

 

 

The Summer in Grenada

Grenada – The Spice Island

The pool at Le Phare Bleu Marina helped keep us cool!

Lush green vegetation, beautiful blue water, gorgeous beaches and happy friendly people make Grenada an excellent place to spend some time. I recommend doing it in the winter months though, as daily temperatures of 110 in the middle of summer are exhausting. That said we still had a wonderful time.

We had tons of fun! There was always fun things going on and some we made up as we went along.

The Sandy Feet crew arriving for Randy's birthday party!

The Sandy Feet crew arriving for Randy’s birthday party!

Randy keeping his cool!

Randy keeping his cool!

Randy's Birthday party

Randy’s Birthday party

img_3523

Pot Luck – sometimes rain moved us inside

We love our boat kids!

We love our boat kids!

And each other

And each other

A sailing regatta

A sailing regatta

Monkeying around on a tour

Monkeying around on a tour

The rhum factory

The rhum factory

Dinner out

Dinner out

Our friend Susan's visit

Our friend Susan’s visit

Sunset

Sunset

Dinner out

Dinner out

Dinner in

Dinner in

Dinghy rides

Dinghy rides

Nature tour

Nature tour

Coco pods

Coco pods

Carnival - we mas!

Carnival – we mas!

Friday nights at Container park - everyone is there, boaters, locals, and med students

Friday nights at Container park – everyone is there, boaters, locals, and med students

Boat Body Boot Camp! Thank you Elizabeth!  Yup, we worked out in that heat - crazy

Boat Body Boot Camp! Thank you Elizabeth!
Yup, we worked out in that heat – crazy

Then lounged by the pool

Then lounged by the pool

We met so many wonderful people, saw the sights and ate very well. Granada was a blast!

 

 

 

 

Sail, Anchor, Eat, Sleep, Repeat, Repeat

We had a pretty good window to get from Dominica to Grenada. It was long enough to stop every night but not to stay and visit.

Good Bye Dominica! We'll be back!

Good Bye Dominica! We’ll be back!

We left the northern end of Dominica early and sailed to the southern end of Martinique with just enough daylight to drop the anchor. We ate a light dinner, slept and were up again before first light.

This was going to be a long day. We’d heard reports of thievery and an attitude of cruisers being unwelcome in both St. Lucia and St Vincent, so we sailed right past them.

Sailing past

Sailing past

Lots of empty anchorages along the coast. The sailing community is good about communicating both the good and the bad about marinas and anchorages.  We arrived in Bequia in fairly good time.

No time to stay

No time to stay

Hello - Good-bye. I'm late, I'm late, I'm late!

Hello – Good-bye. I’m late, I’m late, I’m late!

Dropped the anchor, got fuel delivered to the boat, ate, slept and headed out the next day to Carriacou.

We were making good time and thought we would stay in Carriacou for a few days. It is part of Grenada and a good place to clear into the country. When we arrived we were greeted by our friends Diane and Richard aboard Rodinyard. img_3656We hadn’t seen them since we made the overnight passage from Turks and Caicos to Dominican Republic. They had plans to leave to the main Island of Granada the next day.  So we decided to tag along. Anchor, eat, sleep and off we go again!

Finally! A beam reach!

Finally! A beam reach!

The sail from Carriacou is one of the nicest sails we’ve had. Our original plan was to sail the windward side because the wind would be better. But when we got out and started heading in that direction the waves were nasty. So, we angled across the north coast, through the dotting of lovely little islands to the leeward side. The angle was just perfect and Moorahme was a happy girl gliding through the waves like she was meant to do.

Sail! Past Kick 'em Jenny

Sail! Past Kick ’em Jenny

Of course the thing about the leeward side is when you get somewhere near the middle there is no wind. We tried to turn the engine on and….nothing! Oh oh! While Randy went below to figured out the problem, Rodinyard caught up to us and waited until we were underway again. Thank goodness for handy husbands and caring friends!

Once underway the sea was calm as glass until we made the turn along the southern coast! The wind and waves were pretty strong out of the east, so, right on the nose, again! I’m tired of this on the nose business! We made it into Clarks Court bay where we planned to haul the boat for painting.

Because we were concerned about the starter, we requested tying to the wall. Weekends in the islands see pretty much no one around. We were told that customs wasn’t open and we’d have to wait til Monday. We know we can’t step off the boat if we aren’t cleared in so we stayed on the boat at the concrete wall. Rodinyard was nicely anchored and came over to visit.

"We Made It To Grenada" Award

“We Made It To Grenada” Award

They brought us an award ribbon “We made it to Grenada!”.  They are so sweet!

Monday we got a taxi ride (with our soon-to-be favourite driver, Kerry) into Prickly Bay to clear in. We also got a lecture. Yes they are open and we must clear in within an hour of arriving and we should have called them. Really? How was I supposed to know they were open when I was told they weren’t! How do they expect me to call if I’m new in the country and can’t leave the boat to go get a phone until I’m cleared in! Do they have a VH F radio so we can contact them? Heck no! Why make it easy? Unpleasant customs and immigration – contact number one. There will be more. I try so hard to find out what we have to do and how we should proceed when we are entering new countries. It frustrates me greatly when the information isn’t on an official government website and the sites I find have conflicting information. Just write it down somewhere so I know the rules. I’m good with rules! Rant done!

Our taxi driver Kerry was great and has become our go to person, here in Grenada.